Operation SNAP in action on the Nicky Grist Stages as rally joins forces with the GoSafe Partnership for a fifth year

The Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 14 July) is proud to continue its association with GoSafe – the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, which is encouraging rally fans to help make Wales’ roads safer by getting involved in Operation SNAP.

The event – which is a round of Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series, Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, Fiesta ST Trophy, FMP Rally Challenge and the Swift Shining Stars Rally Series – is also proud to help raise awareness of the Fatal Five, a road safety initiative by the Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The Nicky Grist Stages, GoSafe Partnership and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service came together for a special event, along with Osian Pryce and Nicky Grist, at the GoSafe headquarters this week. Spencer Sport kindly brought a Mitsubishi Mirage R5 to be displayed with GoSafe vehicles, with Team Principal Charlie Jukes and Team Co-ordinator James Morgan also in attendance.

Operation SNAP is a response to increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence relating to driving offences that members of the public have witnessed. Until now, these reports have been submitted to the police in all sorts of ways and so a streamlined on-line process has now been developed to deal with them – dramatically reducing valuable police time by making it easier to collect and assess evidence.

The ‘Stay alive, get to know your Fatal Five’ is an initiative by three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services, in partnership with neighbouring local authorities, Road Safety Wales and the four Welsh Police forces, focussing on the five main causes of fatal road traffic collisions in Wales – which are speeding, driving while impaired with alcohol and/or drugs, use of mobile ‘phones, non-use seat belts or careless driving.

The Quinton MC organised Nicky Grist Stages has an excellent road safety and driving standards record, with no increase in road offences registered in recent years, despite the event contributing to an increase in traffic around rally route. This proves that raising awareness of GoSafe Partnership activity in the area where the rally takes place does have a positive effect, making the roads a safer place for all to be – whether it’s rally traffic or the general public going about their unrelated business. This is why the Nicky Grist Stages is keen for the GoSafe team to maintain its presence at the event, as the association is clearly working extremely well.

Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales and GoSafe – the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership Manager, said: “We have worked with the Nicky Grist Stages now for five years and the vast majority of people who follow this fantastic event obey the rules of the road and drive legally – but we still want to work with the event to get that message out there that the rally is for everyone to enjoy and enjoy safely. This year we have also teamed up with the Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service to promote the Fatal Five, and to raise awareness of the five main reasons people die on the roads in Wales. One of those reasons is careless driving, and we want to encourage people to drive safely when they travel to and from the event, and between stages.

We will also be promoting Operation SNAP during this year’s Nicky Grist Stages, which is a GoSafe initiative that allows members of the public who have captured footage of illegal driving on their dash cams, or from the side of the road on their mobile ‘phones, to take that digital footage and upload it onto gosafe.org. Ultimately, we all want to go out and enjoy ourselves and not be subjected to other people driving irresponsibly. Operation SNAP has been very successful, and it’s the most effective and efficient way of reporting and dealing with motoring offences for the public.

Nicky Grist said: “The association with GoSafe is a very important one for us at the Nicky Grist Stages, because we can emphasis to the public that we are responsible competitors, officials and spectators. Rally cars tend to be a little bit more noisy and a bit more colourful than your average car, so tend to stand out and sometimes get a little unfair attention on road sections, so this association spreads a good message for other people who are on rally route that we do drive on road sections within the speed limits and that we do obey the rules of the road. Dyfed Powys Police have always been very supportive of rallying and the Nicky Grist Stages has a long and successful relationship with the GoSafe Partnership, and we all benefit from the association.

I’ve been very lucky to go behind the scenes and look at some of the Operation SNAP footage and I’ve been quite shocked at some of the road offences that have been committed. I drive a lot, and I’ve seen the quality of driving getting worse in recent years. Drivers who drive as badly as some of the ones I’ve seen on Operation SNAP deserve to get booked, because it’s completely irresponsible – so it’s a very good initiative. Operation SNAP will, undoubtedly, make our roads safer.

Osian Pryce said: “It’s been an eye opener to see what the GoSafe Partnership does and the work that goes on behind the scenes. It’s interesting to see how much effort is going into keeping Welsh roads safe and how Operation SNAP has streamlined the way the police collect and deal with motoring offences that have been captured by motorists on dash cams. It’s not just about raising awareness to rally spectators – competitors use road sections and have to abide by the rules of the road too, and it’s been a very good reminder that speeding or driving irresponsibly is more and more likely to get you into trouble with the police. The Nicky Grist Stages is a big event, contributing to extra traffic on the roads, so it and the GoSafe Partnership go hand-in-hand and it’s a great way for rallying to help promote better, safer, driving.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Our relationship with GoSafe is unique within the rallying community and this is something Quinton Motor Club is immensely proud of. Helping to promote initiatives such as Operation SNAP shows that we take road safety very seriously, spreading the message amongst our competitors, officials and spectators alike. Taking this forward we welcome the Fire and Rescue Services and are keen to help promote the Fatal Five initiative too.



Photo caption (from left to right): Andrew Rees, (Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service), Teresa Ciano (GoSafe Partnership Manager), Emyr Davies (Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service), Osian Pryce, Nicky Grist, Sergeant Ian Price (Go Safe Partnership), PC Roger Jones and PC Peter Williams (Go Safe Partnership Enquiry Officers).

Nicky Grist Stages teams up with GoSafe to help ensure every road user has a safe and enjoyable rally

The Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) has teamed up with the GoSafe Safety Camera Partnership for a third year, to help make sure that all spectators travelling to, from and around the event, plus competitors and officials using rally route road sections, adhere to the speed limits and enjoy a safe event.

Nicky Grist, international co-driver James Morgan, Welsh Rally Championship driver Dylan Davies, Sergeant David Edwards (Dyfed-Powys Police), Sue Storch (Chair of Road Safety Wales) and Chris Hume, the GoSafe Partnership Manager, met in Cross Hands to discuss this year’s joint awareness initiative – where they took the opportunity to pose for a photoshoot with a GoSafe mobile safety camera van, a GoSafe motorcycle and Tom Cave’s Ford Fiesta R5, courtesy of Llandysul-based Spencer Sport.

GoSafe will have a highly visible roadside presence around the rally’s host town of Builth Wells and routes around the Epynt military ranges, encouraging all road users to drive responsibly and within the speed limits. It will also be looking out for seatbelt and mobile phone offences. GoSafe will also have a stand at the event’s rally headquarters at the Royal Welsh Showground, where information on their work will be available.

Whilst GoSafe is responsible for red light and speed camera enforcement, its aim of reducing casualties on Welsh roads is not just about enforcing the law. The partnership encourages motorists to drive legally and safely through education, and by offering permanent engineering solutions to roads. GoSafe is made up of 22 local authorities in Wales, four Welsh Police Forces and the Welsh Government, and works closely with the National Public Health Service and Fire Services in Wales.

Sergeant David Edwards from Dyfed-Powys Police said: “GoSafe is delighted to once again be working in partnership with the Nicky Grist Stages. The aim of GoSafe  is to make people safer on Welsh roads by reducing casualties and saving lives. We’ll have a very visible presence at this year’s event, and we hope all competitors and spectators enjoy Wales and our Welsh roads, and that your time with us is an enjoyable one. Please drive safely and respect the speed limits.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Rallying in Wales is a huge sport and for a concentrated period of time may cause disruption to the local communities we pass through. I’m pleased that we are continuing our partnership with GoSafe to ensure the competitors, officials and spectators are aware of the high profile presence of this initiative on this year’s Nicky Grist Stages so there is no excuse for bad or anti-social driving. Safety of other road users is paramount to a good relationship between events and the local community.

Nicky Grist said: “Motorsport takes place on closed and marshalled roads, and is a safe and controlled environment that allows competitors to show their skill and expertise behind the steering wheel. That’s not the same on the open public road, where there are immeasurably more hazards and variables to consider, like pedestrians and on-coming traffic. It’s very important to drive in a safe and responsible manner, and that’s why the Nicky Grist Stages has once again teamed up with the GoSafe campaign, to make sure everyone who attends this year’s event has a safe and enjoyable weekend in and around the Epynt military ranges.


Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk